Cray Wanderers vs Welling United – Match Preview, Tuesday 5th July, 7.45 pm

Cray Wanderers continue the early stages of pre-season with the first of three home friendlies as Welling United are the visitors to Hayes Lane. Kick off: 7.45 pm.

Admission: £10 adults £5 concessions on gate (cash only) or online at This match will be followed by the visit of Tonbridge Angels on Saturday 9th July and Maidstone United on Sunday 24th July. Online tickets for both matches are available

Please note for all supporters entrance to the ground is via the Broomfields bar/restaurant in the Glyn Beverley Stand.

Cray began a very competitive pre-season campaign with a 1-0 victory at Erith Town on Saturday with a first half Anthony Cook goal in a game with a mixture of first team players and trialists especially in the second half.

Neil Smith, a former Welling United player-manager is quietly building a team capable of being further up the table and from the early evidence the likes of Billy Crook and Dan Bassett could be inspired signings. New centre-forward signing Tom Derry spent the second half of last season at Welling and centre-half Harold Joseph also had a spell at Park View Road as did Anthony Cook three seasons ago.

Both clubs had hair raising seasons in 2021-22 with Cray and Welling having late season escapes from relegation and for a short period it was thought that this could have been a league match this season. Welling were really in a battle with Billericay Town for the one relegation place from the National South which was nip and tuck until two big wins over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend with a 2-1 win at Hungerford Town followed with a dramatic 3-2 win at home to champions elect Maidstone United while Billericay lost at home to Ebbsfleet meant Warren Feeney’s Wings side were safe with one match still to play ending up finishing 20th.

The club seem to have a new lease of life with stadium and pitch improvements at the ground look to have been coupled with some good new signings including centre-back Taylor Curran, midfielders Tyrique Hyde and Taylor Maloney coming from Dartford and Lewes respectively and up front Ade Azeez is another coming from Dartford and experienced Stefan Payne has also joined in the last few days.

The teams meet on Tuesday for the third pre-season in succession and the sides drew 2-2 at Hayes Lane on 3rd August, 2021 with Lee Lewis and Fjord Rogers scoring for Cray. This will be the first pre-season game for Welling United this season.


Surprisingly competitive games between Cray and Welling have been few and far between with only two league games played in the London Spartan League Premier in 1977-78 and other games were in cup ties. The clubs moved in different circles after that with Cray off to the Kent League and Welling to the Athenian League and later the Southern League where they won the Premier Division in 1985-86 and were promoted to the Conference where they remained until 2000 and reached the 3rd Round of the FA Cup in 1989 losing narrowly to Blackburn Rovers at Park View Road.

After returning to the Southern League they formed part of the new National South division in 2004 and were a very consistent club at that level and in 2011-12 reached the playoff final losing to Dartford but in 2012-1 3 under the player-management of Jamie Day won the National South and gained promotion to the Conference where they remained until 2015-16. In 2018-19 Welling reached the playoff final after beating Chelmsford City but were beaten in the final by the odd goal at Woking before lying 12th when the National South was decided on PPG in 2019-20 and were bottom in the much shortened 2020-21 season before last season’s dramas.

All at Cray Wanderers look forward to welcoming Wands and Wings fans and have an enjoyable evening and can look to a less stress free season.